Niall Andrews

Dublin politician and MEP


Niall Andrews, politician: born Dublin 9 August 1937; TD (Fianna Fáil) for Dublin South 1977-87; MEP 1984-2004; married (one son, two daughters); died Dublin 16 October 2006.

Niall Andrews was one of the most individualistic figures in Irish public life, with a penchant for supporting causes shunned or neglected by others. As a member first of the Dáil and later of the European Parliament, he championed overseas development aid and took a keen interest in international affairs.

Asked what he regarded as his proudest achievement, he replied: "I made the Third World an issue." Although he held office for only a fleeting moment, he was a legendary vote-getter for the Fianna Fáil party in Dublin, where electors plainly admired his nonconformist attitudes.

He belonged to a powerful political dynasty established by his father, Todd Andrews, who was regarded as a founding father both of Fianna Fáil and of the Irish state itself. Todd's early revolutionary career in the war of independence included active service, arrest and imprisonment, a hunger strike, internment and a prison escape. Todd's sons Niall and David went into politics with Fianna Fáil, the latter serving as Irish foreign minister. Niall Andrews briefly held junior ministerial office during his 10 years as a member of the Dáil.

A member of Fianna Fáil's liberal wing, he played only a marginal role in the years when the party was convulsed by the issue of the leadership of Charles Haughey. In one impassioned speech he accused the media "of trying to execute Haughey just as the leaders of the 1916 Rising had been executed".

He spread his wings much more during his 20 years, 1984-2004, as a Member of the European Parliament, interesting himself in issues all over the world. The Fianna Fáil figure Eoin Ryan described him as "somebody who was never afraid to champion a cause that he believed in":

Whether it was on human rights or overseas development aid, if he believed in an issue he would

fight tooth and nail for it. Whether it was Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, he was somebody who really went out of his way to fight for those people.

Andrews's more controversial causes included that of the so-called Colombia Three, the Irish republicans held in Central America on an alleged IRA mission in 2001. Acting as an international observer he visited Colombia and supported their claims of innocence. He also campaigned for the release of the Dublin-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, who in 2004 was kidnapped and later killed in Iraq. He opposed international sanctions against Iraq, saying they served only to create division in the Middle East.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, yesterday hailed Niall Andrews's

passionate commitment to human rights around the world. He highlighted the cause of the oppressed and was a passionate advocate for those who had few if any advocates at all.

David McKittrick

News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Company Secretary

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Consultant - Helpdesk

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continuing expansion, a ...

h2 Recruit Ltd: CORPORATE SALES - MARKETING SOFTWARE - £90,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £90k OTE uncapped, Mob: h2 Recruit Ltd: CORPORATE ...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager -Healthcare Software-£70,000 OTE

£40000 - £60000 per annum + £60,000 OTE+Car+Mobile: h2 Recruit Ltd: Business D...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game